Women’s League Reads

You are invited to join Women’s League Reads, a worldwide conversation about books of interest to today’s Jewish women.  Women’s League Reads is a moderated online discussion group, via Google Groups, for members of Women’s League in which everyone is invited to post comments, ask questions and make observations about the book.

Membership in Women’s League Reads is open only to members in good standing of Women’s League-affiliated sisterhoods or to individual members who have paid dues directly to Women’s League. You may subscribe to by contacting Lois Silverman, Internet Services Chair, at lsilverman@wlcj.org, with your e-mail address, sisterhood name/town/state, or individual member information, and thereby join the online group for book news and discussions. For other questions and comments, contact Vivian Leber at vleber@wlcj.org.

Check out more book recommendations from our members on Book Corner, now updated for 2019!

Find even more previous Book Club picks and study guides here!

We are delighted to announce that the next WL Reads book and author is Gateway to the Moon, by Mary Morris. Now in hardcover and e-reader editions, it will be out in paperback on March 12. An author interview will be held on Monday, April 8, 2019, at 8:30 PM EST.

The historical novel has a dual narrative: First, the story follows a Jewish family of conversos during a century of flight from the Spanish Inquisition—from Spain, to Portugal, to Mexico, and, finally, to colonial New Mexico. The second storyline, set in the 1990s, tells of inter-related Hispanic characters in a poor New Mexico town, whose ancestors had settled there 400 years ago, and who still maintain “strange” customs that hint at Jewish ancestry. It involves a striving, gifted teenage boy, whose family harbors secrets, who views the stars from a crumbling cemetery hilltop, the narrative of a kindly older general store manager, who yearns to discover his roots, and a troubled, young Jewish family that tries to make a fresh start. Mary Morris skillfully weaves these threads together in a page-turning, layered story.

Her earlier historical novel, The Jazz Palace, a multiple-award winner, is set in Prohibition-era Chicago, where Jewish and African-American musicians–confronting racism, Anti-Semitism and gangsters–forge bonds. In addition to her other novels, Morris wrote a travel memoir viewed as a classic, Nothing to Declare, Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone. A Chicago native, she has “100% Jewish” roots but was raised “minimally Jewish,” and has been on a voyage of self-discovery through her writing, she has told interviewers.

Related reading:

Jewish Book Council: Mary Morris’s Russian grandmother’s mystery stew, rediscovered in a cafe in Tangiers.

Smithsonian Magazine: Genetic tests bolster evidence of Crypto-Jews in America’s Southwest – October 2008

Listen to our conversation with Odessa, Odessa author Barbara Artson here.

Conversations with the chosen authors and scholars:

  • To listen to our conversation with If All the Seas Were Ink author Ilana Kurshan, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, author of Waking Lions, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Dara Horn, author of Eternal Life, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Rachel Kadish, author of The Weight of Inkclick here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Jennifer S. Brown, author of Modern Girls, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Deborah Tannen, author of You’re the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women’s Friendships, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Betsy Lerner, author of The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir, click here.
  • To listen to our inter-generational conversation with Erica Perl, author of When Life Gives You OJ, click here.
  • To listen to our cooking lesson with Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbookclick here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Lauren Belfer, author of And After the Fire, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Sarit Yishai-Levi, author of The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Joy Ladin, author of Through the Door of Life:  A Jewish Journey Between Genders, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Phyllis Chesler, author of An American Bride in Kabul, click here.
  • To listen to our conversation with Gina Nahai, author of The Luminous Heart of Jonah S, click here.
  • To listen to our interactive, inter-generational program for Sydney Taylor’s All of a Kind Family, click here.

To join Women’s League Reads, click here. Include your name, email, sisterhood, or notice that you are an individual member of Women’s League (not a member of a sisterhood). In addition to reading together, we look forward to sharing some exciting benefits of participation in this group.